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USA - LA County Tax set-up, what are the options?


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Hello, I've got a big problem concerning setting up taxes. My client informed us at the last moment that we need to charge 7.5% tax to CA residents, but 9% if they live in LA County. It cannot be detected accurately solely by zip code, as some locations under the same zip code have different tax rates. I have searched on this topic on this forum and know that other states deal with this same structure.

 

It seemed that the best option was to use the AvaTax module from Avalara. After I installed it, I found out that it needs the php SOAP extension, and our host does not support that. Has anyone else run into that problem with AvaTax--is there any workaround? 

 

I have heard of other geolocation tax services like usgeocoder.com and taxcloud.net (free). Has anyone tried to integrate either of those with PrestaShop, would it be difficult?

 

I have read that some others have built tables of all the zip codes and crossed them with all of the counties in the state. However I've heard that there is a bug in 1.5 that makes this method not workable:

tdr170 said: "With 1.5 it is almost impossible to create the counties with the zips as the range just does not work. You would need to enter County for every zip in that county, just not practical."

 

I am on 1.5.6. Is it still possible to set this up manually? 1.5.6 no longer has a County tab in shipping. Are there any other LA users out there who could share how they solved this?

 

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It cannot be detected accurately solely by zip code, as some locations under the same zip code have different tax rates.

 

This seems to be your problem regardless of Prestashop having a bug with zip code ranges.  how do you plan to resolve when a single zip code exists in multiple counties, or a single zip code has different tax rates.

 

Once you figure that out, then a solution to implementing it in Prestashop can be discussed

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Hi bellini13, I was hoping to hear from you! Are you saying that there is no way in PrestaShop 1.5 to manually set up county taxes and there is definitely no manual way to detect different counties within the same zip code? I wanted to confirm this.

 

I am thinking that the only way to accurately detect different counties within a single zip code is to use an add-on such as AvaTax that is integrated with a geolocation tax service. But I would have to change to a new host to use AvaTax or get a VPS at a much higher cost at the same host because of the SOAP extension. 

 

I was hoping someone would have tried integrating usgeocoder.com or taxcloud.net's service with PrestaShop and had some advice. They have instructions on using their API but I think it is beyond my programming skills. You never considered writing a module for this? I see you have written some modules. 

 

I saw in a past thread that you did a shop in NY w/ county taxes & you wrote the steps out on how to set them up in 1.4. But 1.5 doesn't have the counties tab anymore. I wanted to know, did you ever upgrade that site you did to 1.5 and still have the taxes working? Doesn't NY have the same county tax law/situation as us in CA with the different tax rates under the same zip code?--how did you deal with it?

 

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Hi bellini13, I was hoping to hear from you! Are you saying that there is no way in PrestaShop 1.5 to manually set up county taxes and there is definitely no manual way to detect different counties within the same zip code? I wanted to confirm this.

 

In PS v1.5 there is no longer the concept of Counties.  But regardless, even if there were, you couldn't put 1 zip code into 2 counties.  If you had a single zip code in 2 counties, how do you know which County to use?  You have to use an authoritative source that maintains the relationship between Address and County, not Zip code and County, since apparently there are zip codes in the USA that exist in 2 counties, and also have different tax rates.  (Not an issue if the tax rates were the same)

 

This really has little to do with Prestashop, and more about creating a registry that would say "Address A resides in County B, and County B has that Tax Rate C".

 

While I did implement NY taxes for a 1.4 site, it was based solely on zip codes and there were no requirements that a single zip code could exist in more than 1 county.

 

 

Now if you could locate a provider that offers either of the following, then this is easy.

1) The provider exposes a service, where by given an address it would return the Tax Rate.

2) The provider manages a database that you could import into your database on a routine basis.

 

We simply create a Tax Module that would either invoke the service in #1, or perform the lookup in #2.

 

This provider looks to do #1, but it would require SOAP extension.

https://www.taxdatasystems.net/Product/Description/2

 

There are alternatives to the PHP SOAP extension, such as http://sourceforge.net/projects/nusoap/

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Hello, I've got a big problem concerning setting up taxes. My client informed us at the last moment that we need to charge 7.5% tax to CA residents, but 9% if they live in LA County. It cannot be detected accurately solely by zip code, as some locations under the same zip code have different tax rates. I have searched on this topic on this forum and know that other states deal with this same structure.
 
It seemed that the best option was to use the AvaTax module from Avalara. After I installed it, I found out that it needs the php SOAP extension, and our host does not support that. Has anyone else run into that problem with AvaTax--is there any workaround? 
 
I have heard of other geolocation tax services like usgeocoder.com and taxcloud.net (free). Has anyone tried to integrate either of those with PrestaShop, would it be difficult?
 
I have read that some others have built tables of all the zip codes and crossed them with all of the counties in the state. However I've heard that there is a bug in 1.5 that makes this method not workable:
tdr170 said: "With 1.5 it is almost impossible to create the counties with the zips as the range just does not work. You would need to enter County for every zip in that county, just not practical."
 
I am on 1.5.6. Is it still possible to set this up manually? 1.5.6 no longer has a County tab in shipping. Are there any other LA users out there who could share how they solved this?

 

I'm actually working a module that will solve this without being crazy expensive like Avatax. If you're interested shoot me a PM

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Bellini13, well it's easy for you, but not for me  :( . Thanks for thinking about this. It looks like tmm08a is working on such a module. The tax service you linked to sounds pretty expensive. I didn't understand the nusoap. Could nusoap be used with the AvaTax instead of SOAP or would its code need to be tweaked to reference nusoap? Just wondering.

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Most likely the AvaTax module is coded to use the PHP Soap extension directly, so it would not work without it installed.

 

But with some tweaking of the AvaTax code, you could swap the usage of SOAP extension for nusoap.  You just need a mechanism for speaking the SOAP protocol, and both nusoap and the official SOAP extension will provide that.

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  • 2 months later...
  • 1 month later...

We have just released a Tax module that uses the FREE 3rd party service TaxCloud

 

The module calculates the exact tax rate by the street address, lets you assign different TIC codes to your products (in case some are not taxed), and it also sends all the information to TaxCloud (which can be used to file your sales tax automatically in many states).

 

http://www.prestashop.com/forums/topic/323869-module-taxcloud-calculates-sales-tax-in-real-time-for-every-state-county-city/

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  • 1 year later...

Does anybody have a module for 1.6 to allow one to manually enter tax information based on zip codes. Address verification is nice but we only have about 100 taxable transactions per year and the likelihood of an address with a zip code with two tax rates is rather remote. Right now, 1.6 only allows one zip code range per state per rule. Tax calculations based on zip code was available in version 1.4 and worked perfectly.

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  • 8 months later...

Hi, this is a real pity that they removed the zipcode system that was in Prestashop 1.4.

I'm currently migrating from 1.4 to 1.6 and i just discovered this issue.

 

To fix it, and instead of creating a new rule for each zip code that i entered on Presta 1.4, i wrote a sql script to automatize it.

/* Insert parent rules */
INSERT INTO `new_database`.`ps_tax_rule` (`id_tax_rule`, `id_tax_rules_group`, `id_country`, `id_state`, `zipcode_from`, `zipcode_to`, `id_tax`, `behavior`, `description`) VALUES
(53, 53, 21, 0, '0', '0', 0, 1, 'No Tax For all USA'),
(54, 53, 21, 5, '0', '0', 5, 1, 'California specific Tax');

/* i create 1 rule per zip/postal code */
INSERT INTO `new_database`.`ps_tax_rule`(`id_tax_rules_group`, `id_country`, `id_state`, `zipcode_from`, `zipcode_to`, `id_tax`, `behavior`, `description`)
SELECT tr.id_tax_rules_group, tr.id_country, tr.id_state, cz.from_zip_code as `zipcode_from`, cz.from_zip_code as `zipcode_to`, tr.`id_tax`, 0 as `behavior`, c.name as `description`
FROM `old_database`.`ps_tax_rule` tr
LEFT JOIN `ps_county` c ON (c.id_county = tr.id_county)
LEFT JOIN `ps_county_zip_code` cz ON (cz.id_county = c.id_county)
WHERE id_tax_rules_group = 53 /* This is usually the id for the first tax rule group that you add - change with yours if needed */
AND cz.from_zip_code IS NOT NULL

I hope it will help.

Cheers.
 

Edited by bbgun91 (see edit history)
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